|Minier High School|
The History of Minier High School
The town of Minier (population 1,244) is located in eastern Tazwell County on Illinois Route 122 approximately 20 miles west (and a little south) of Bloomington. The town was established at the intersection of two major railways, the Illinois Gulf Central Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad.
The following history of the town was offered by our own Kev Varney:
Minier’s history goes back to October 1867, when the town was founded by George W. Minier when the Illinois Central Railroad made a payment to him for services he rendered to the railroad. He was known as “Father Minier” and was an ordained minister of the Christian Church. He was a friend of both Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. The village was laid out and lots were quickly purchased by those in the surrounding area, as well as Ohio & Pennsylvania. As a result, Minier grew quickly and gained a reputation as a being self-supporting for a town its size.
The origin of the school system in Minier dates to 1884 and continued on its own for many years as the town of Minier successfully supported its own school system for over eight decades. In 1965, the school districts of Armington, Hopedale and Minier consolidated but their high schools remained open. In 1968 the towns of Stanford and Minier formed the Stanford-Minier School District. This arrangement worked until 1972 when school districts of Armington-Hopedale-Minier, Atlanta, Danvers, Stanford, and McLean-Waynesville all merged to create the Olympia School District. The high school for the new District was located in Stanford. For an incredibly insightful article on the early history of Minier HS scroll to the bottom of this page. The article appeared in the school’s year book in 1931 and is an excellent piece for this site.
Th original Minier High School building has been demolished. Olympia West Elementary School is located in Minier. The original Minier Gymnasium still stands today, now used as part of a private business.
Minier High School Quick Facts
Year opened: 1884
Year closed: 1968
Consolidated to: Stanford-Minier High School
School nickname: the “Wildcats”
School colors: Purple & Gold
School Fight Song: “Onward Wildcats”
Song & Lyrics provided by Teresa Schappaugh
Onward Wildcats, Onward Wildcats
Dribble down the floor!
Give the players all a chance
To make a bigger score,
Rah, Rah, Rah !!
Fight Em Wildcats, Fight Em Wildcats
On to victory,
For you know we’ll stand beside you
An earlier fight song for the WIldcats was printed in the 1948 Minier HS yearbook. It was provided to us by Barbara Brown, who’s husband Bill Brown was a 1948 graduate of Minier High School. The song is quoted from the yearbook below:
Hear the cheers from the stands and the bleachers,
As the WILDCATS past us fly.
They’re the pride of the students and teachers,
This great team of Minier High.
To our school we will always be loyal,
We will Work. We will Fight. We will Win. Rah. Rah.
For our spirit can’t be broken,
On to Vic-to-ry again.
Minier High School definitely offered basketball and track. These sports have documentation on the IHSA web site (www.ihsa.org). We are seeking further information from an area fan regarding the other sports and successes offered at the school.
Hold on to your hats here. The Minier boys dominated the area in the sport of basketball during the 1940’s and 1950’s. The Minier roundballers won 8 of the 10 District titles available in the 1940’s (all 8 were in a row) and 5 of the 10 titles (including 3 in a row) in the 1950’s! Add one more District title in 1965 and simple math gives Minier 14 total District Championships! Unfortunately, we do not have the records of most of the teams and are missing some of the coaches’ names.
The 14 District title years are listed below.
1940-41 District Champions
1941-42 District Champions
1942-43 District Champions
1943-44 District Champions
1944-45 24 – 4 District Champions Coach Lawrence Camp
County Tourney 2nd Pl.
1945-46 District Champions Coach Edwin E. Saunders
1946-47 District Champions Coach Edwin E. Saunders
1947-48 12 – 10 District Champions Coach Edwin E. Saunders
1951-52 District Champions
1953-54 District Champions
1955-56 District Champions
1956-57 District Champions
1957-58 27-4 District Champions Coach Lee Hephinestine
1964-65 District Champions
Boys Track & Field
One male athlete brought home a medal from the IHSA State Track Meet. His first name is not listed. His accomplishment is listed below.
1933-34 Craig 880 Yard Run 4th Place
From our good fan Mark Jurenga:
“Gene Creek was the baseball coach at Minier HS for a while before taking the head baseball coaching job at Lake Land Community College in Matoon. At Lake Land he won 1,087 games in 35 years and is in NJCAA coaches Hall of Fame.”
Below is a photo of the Minier HS baseball team of 1947-48:
Need Your Knowledge
Can you add some facts to the Minier High School lore on this web site? Team nickname, school colors, especially records of all the championship teams and coaches names would be interesting. Also a photo of the old High School building and its status would be fun to share. Please help by completing a School Submission Form or Guest Commentary Form. You can also e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or write us at:
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il. 60631